Standing Orders committee to discuss measures to address absenteeism among MPs - Dewan Rakyat Speaker

KUALA LUMPUR: Parliament's Standing Orders Committee will soon convene to discuss possible measures to address absenteeism among members of parliament (MPs).

Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Johari Abdul said their attendance is recorded in the parliament's system and that "they cannot hide" the matter.

"This is a strong reminder to the MPs to ensure that they are present (for the sitting).

"When I proposed (the fine) imposed on absent MPs, it was actually a suggestion from outsiders and I echoed (their sentiment)," he told media practitioners present at the high-tea at the Parliament today.

Johari said while he could give suggestions as the Dewan Rakyat speaker, he could not do as he pleases as matters need to be deliberated by parliamentary committees.

He said he would make announcements at the start of the upcoming sitting to remind MPs to strictly adhere to the Standing Orders.

The First Meeting of the Third Session of the 15th Parliament will begin with an official opening on Feb 26 and is set to be graced by His Majesty Sultan Ibrahim King of Malaysia, followed by the Royal Address.

On mandatory health checks for MPs, he said such a "ruling" would continue in the upcoming sitting to ensure that they are fit to attend proceedings.

"In the previous sitting, all MPs, including the prime minister, complied and went through their health screening.

"If they are found to have health issues they must address (and seek treatment).

I've seen 11 MPs collapse right before me."

It was reported that the Dewan Rakyat is considering increasing the amount of fine for MPs found breaching the lower house's rules.

Johari had said the increase of fine to RM10,000, a 10 times increase from RM1,000 for MPs was being studied.

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